The Challenges of Searching for Jobs Abroad

by Dr Rona Hart

Job hunting abroad can provide both new opportunities and new adventures but there can be some hurdles to overcome when doing so. Preparation is crucial as well as a realistic view of what to expect when looking for work abroad.

Getting a work permit is often the first obstacle to address. Most countries will require you to have a residence permit upon your arrival. If you came to work, your residency permit is likely to be granted on the basis of you having a solid job offer and an appropriate work permit.

In most western countries, work permits are issued for skilled and educated labour. It can be much more difficult to get a work permit without academic qualifications and significant work experience.

In today’s world, having solid cultural knowledge of the culture you are to being joining is pivotal in your success both personally and professionally when relocating. Things such knowing the language can be crucial in a finding work as you may be expected to be proficient to specific level or may have certain exams to take in order to be eligible for particular roles. It is a good idea to seek professional training regarding the country you are moving to or to consult specific cultural guides that are dedicated to dealing with the issues you may face.

Some professions require re-certification of your qualifications upon arrival. This is often the case for medical professionals, lawyers, psychologists and the like. Be sure to find out in advance if this is the case for you and what is involved in process. For some countries you may be able to take the exam before you relocate.

When beginning your job hunt, prepare your CV in advance and a cover letter accurately translated into the local language. Include a recent photo. It is also likely that you will need to have your educational qualifications and credentials translated to the local language. Be aware that some documents may require certification by a notary.

When attending a job interview, be sure to get advice from a local person, preferably a job agent, as to what you are likely to be asked, the level of knowledge you are expected to have regarding the recruiting company, your communication style, body language, dress style and the paperwork you will be expected to have to hand.

Take a deep breath! Finding the perfect job abroad can take between six to twelve months! Experts often consider searching for a job to be a full time job in itself! A relocation agent could be immensely helpful in this matter but it’s important to be realistic about the time frame you are likely to experience.

Good luck!

Rhona Hart is the author of the forthcoming book ‘Preparing for your Move Abroad. Relocating, Settling in, and Managing Culture Shock’.

2 thoughts on “The Challenges of Searching for Jobs Abroad

  1. “Most countries” are happy to have you arrive and then get a job (visa and work permit separate)- this does not mean you can assume that all countries do so. Some countries require the job to be in place before you get the work visa. Research ahead of time, and don’t arrive on the basis of hearsay and assumptions.

    • Definitely agree! Not a situation where you want to have made an assumption that turns out to be wrong! Thanks Meg!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *